iPhone FaceTime Bug Causes Security Concerns

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- A newly discovered bug in Apple's popular FaceTime app is raising security concerns.

The bug, first reported by 9to5mac and later confirmed by CNN, allows users to eavesdrop on unsuspecting friends and family. In some instances, callers are even able to view live video despite the recipient not accepting a call.

The issue stems from the Group FaceTime feature and affects iPhones and iPads running iOS 12.1, and Macs running macOS Mojave. The bug is activated when calling another person via FaceTime and attempting to add a third user. If the caller enters their own phone number as the third party, the caller will be able to hear live audio from the initial recipient's phone, despite the recipient never answering. To make matters worse, the recipient's phone screen gives no indication that audio is being transmitted.

In addition, the caller can see live video of the other person if the recipient attempts to dismiss the call by pressing the volume buttons on the side of the phone.

Apple has identified a fix and will release a software update later this week, the company said in a statement Monday night. Their website currently flags Group FaceTime as being "temporarily unavailable."

To prevent yourself from falling victim while Apple issues a fix, disable FaceTime on all of your devices. 

On mobile devices like an iPhone or iPad, head to 'Settings' -> 'FaceTime' and toggle the green button at the top of your screen to the off position. On a Mac, open 'FaceTime' and click on 'FaceTime' at the top of your screen - then click 'Turn FaceTime Off.'

WBZ NewsRadio's Shari Small (@ShariSmallNews) reports

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